Tribeca2022: In Person Fest Ends, At Home Continues Until June 26th

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NEW YORK – The 2022 in-person 21st Tribeca Film Festival ends today (June 19th). But the highly successful hybrid (click link) TRIBECAatHOME goes on through June 26th, for an extra week to catch up with the films of Tribeca.

The 2022 Tribeca Festival is presented by Crypto Platform OKX, bringing artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. More film reviews by Patrick McDonald are below.

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The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Craig Hatkoff and actor Robert De Niro as a reactive strike back at the September 11th attack in 2001, on New York City and the nearby Tribeca neighborhood.The 2022 edition will have exhibited 110 feature films from 150 filmmakers across 40 countries, and gave jury awards for U.S. Narrative Films, World Narrative Films, Short Film Competition, Best Documentary and Best New Narrative and Documentary Filmmakers, among it’s presentations.

StarFILMS OF TRIBECA: Capsule Reviews

“Babysitter” – The best film I’ve seen so far at the Tribeca Film Festival, a Canadian/French production directed by Monia Chokri (also featured) and adapted by Catherine Léger, from her own play. It is a film about the power dynamic between cisgender men and women, with women claiming a power that was always their own. The film opens with Cedric (Patrick Hivon) with his friends at a brutal boxing match, with a high level of testosterone and alcohol. Afterward, high on both substances, Cedric kisses a TV reporter while she is on the air, causing a backlash that goes viral. Meanwhile his wife Nadine (Monia Chokri) is a new mother experiencing severe postpartum depression. When Cedric gets suspended from his job as a result of his sexism, he hires a babysitter named Amy (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) so he can write a book about his experiences, and only secondly that his wife can get a break. Amy is like an avenging angel for Nadine, and nothing will be the same. This subtle step-by-step exposure of male sexism is radically drawn. Again, it’s about the power of a woman’s sexuality versus the dismissive objectification of them by men (the “babysitter” being a mythic variant of male fantasy), and it plays out with the women in control. It has a glorious coda, a punctuation of truth that is optimistic for the future.

“January” – The winner of Best International Feature (click here for the full list of honorees), “January” is a tribute to cinema, the how-I-got-the-story courage and the heartache of young love, directed/co-written by Viesturs Kairiss. Jazis (Karlis Arnolds Avots) is a an aimless man in his early twenties in Latvia, during the country’s move toward independence in the post-Soviet-collapse (early 1990s). He lives for the movies and filming scenes of the “enemy,” but refuses to go to school or report for mandatory conscription in the Soviet army, which as a unit are fighting against independence. He meets and connects to a woman named Biruta (Baiba Broke) who is a fellow cinephile, but breaks it off in jealousy when she gets a treasured job at a film studio. Armed with a 1990s camcorder, he sets himself up for a final confrontation with his homeland and himself. The style of this film gets direct influence from filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, as his “Stranger Than Paradise” (1984) is referenced as religion in their Church of Cinema. This film, while dark and desperate, does celebrate the cinema art, and the use of the captured image to communicate truth. Powerful.

“God’s Time” – Young adult modernity is under the microscope in this feature debut for writer/director Daniel Antebi. The adventures of Dev (Ben Groh) and Luca (Dion Costelloe), two recovering addicts and young actors who find solace – with a woman named Regina (Liz Caribel Sierra) – in their Narcotics Anonymous meetings. When Dev’s crush on Regina becomes out of control, her disappearance causes disruption for both men. This episodic New York City movie gets into the underbelly, without any judgement. The strength of the film is the determination of its characters to both stay sober and support each other. The three principle actors are energetic and responsive, with Liz Caribel Sierra garnering a Special Jury Prize for Best Performance from Tribeca, for her dreamy forbearance regarding her addiction, familial stress and two goofy but well-meaning men. It’s films like this that recall my youth, but in many ways not miss it at all.

“McEnroe” – Being a child of the 1970s, I gravitated to this overview – with John McEnroe’s full participation – of the “Bad Boy of Tennis,” whose run of success went midway to the 1980s, until his personal life took him over. What is striking about his introspection is the conclusion that he cannot look back at that time in his life with honor or lightness, because it represents a complexity within himself that he deals with to this day. John Patrick McEnroe learned tennis on the public and club courts during the tennis boom of the era. He was a different kind of player, more a strategist – he was a math whiz – than an overpowering athlete. But his consistency and tenacity were his calling cards, and he attained the Number One world ranking in both singles and doubles competition, and won over 70 titles in both categories … the only male player to do so. Along the way, he did a lot of partying, married Tatum O’Neal and came to the end of his career with a perspective that still fuels him. The doc, written and directed by Barney Douglas, is framed by McEnroe today walking the streets of his beloved New York City, two real characters that exist differently today, but with the basis of its past projecting hope for the now. Like many men of his generation – which includes me – he had a contentious relationship with his father, who was also (unfortunately) his business manager. Like Brian Wilson before him, he had to fire his Dad, and that loss of purpose in their relationship defined it … and John … to the end. McEnroe is like you and me, only more so. A must-see for fellow travelers or fans of the era. Happy Father’s Day.

Trailer for “McEnroe” …

For more capsule Tribeca Film Fest reviews, click REVIEW ONE, REVIEW TWO and REVIEW THREE.

The 21st Tribeca Film Festival took place through June 19th, 2022, TRIBECA AT HOME continues until June 26th. For schedule and all general information click on senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2022 Patrick McDonald,

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